SIENA/sub|urban e|merging: mapping.spokes
For the final studio assignment, our group (Trevor, Travis, Christine and Laura) focused on mapping the Porta Romana which leads to “the road to Rome”. The road’s original name was Via Cassia, which was originally an Etruscan road dating to BC times; however, as pilgrimages to Rome increased in significance, the road became much more important. The road connects Rome to Paris, and beyond, stopping along the way at Siena and Florence, along with many other medieval-period towns such as Buonconvento. The road was known as the ‘safe’ road to Rome, primarily because it was so heavily travelled and followed the ridge, therefore, giving users the strategic advantage of being able to see danger as well as being above one’s potential attackers. The road has since been replaced by much more efficient highways such as the Autostrada (A1). As a result, development along Via Cassia has been hindered, leaving it only for locals, bus routes, and tourists looking to ‘get off the beaten path’.
As we walked the road, one of the main observations we had was the lack of pedestrians. This was an obvious result of the lack of sidewalks, shoulders, pathways, or anything to create a separation from the high speed of traffic traveling along the route. We took refuge at any space where the road simply widened to create an area that was safe enough to rest and mentally regroup for the oncoming onslaught of automobile traffic. We nicknamed these resting spaces based on the effect created by them.